Media release - Councils commit to buying back their rubbish

Published on 19 September 2019

In an Australian first, nine South Australian councils have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to prioritise buying products made from recycled materials.

This MOU is the beginning of a circular procurement pilot project, led by the LGA with the assistance of a $96,500 Green Industries SA grant. The goal is to increase local demand for recycled materials, support the development of a circular economy in SA, and ultimately reduce waste and recycling costs for councils.

The participating councils include Adelaide Hills Council, City of Burnside, City of Charles Sturt, Mount Barker District Council, Rural City of Murray Bridge, City of Norwood Payneham & St Peters, City of Onkaparinga, City of Port Adelaide Enfield, and City of Prospect.

Through the MOU, these councils have committed to prioritising the purchase of recycled-content products through the procurement process, and tracking and reporting on recycled-content purchasing by weight.

Most also adopted a rolling target for the purchase of recycled plastic products, working towards eventually buying back recycled materials equivalent to half the weight of plastics collected in their council area.

Examples of products made of recycled materials that can be purchased by councils include road and construction materials, street furniture, bollards, office stationery and compost.

The MOU was signed on-site at Advanced Plastic Recycling (APR) – a leading manufacturer and designer of recycled wood plastic composite products made from 100 percent post-consumer waste. Products produced by APR include bollards, boardwalks, fencing, and street furniture.

Comments attributed to City of Onkaparinga Mayor Erin Thompson

“This circular procurement pilot project is yet another way councils are working together to find positive and long-term solutions to issues facing recycling in South Australia and across the country.

This announcement builds on our plans – and those of other SA councils – to establish new material recycling facilities in our communities.

Exciting projects like this help us become more self-sufficient, create circular economies and reduce our reliance on recycling companies, delivering major benefits to the environment and local economy.”

Read more at the Local Government Association of South Australia’s website.